Joe's Road Trip

Road Trip Day 16: David Brooks Edition

Des Moines, Iowa

I’ll have more to say about the past few days soon, but a brief diversion seems appropriate. David Brooks has a terrific column today, which is more wonky and detailed than what I’ve been hearing on the road, but definitely reflects the basic sentiments of the Americans I’ve been interviewing. Here is Brooks’s policy …

Road Trip Day 15: The Loving American

Joplin, Missouri

There were a thousand people in the worship center at the College Heights Christian Church this morning. A guy with a modified mohawk, white tie and distressed charcoal gray shirt was leading the congregation …

Road Trip Day 13: The Lazy American

Jonesboro, Arkansas–St Louis, Missouri

“Down deep in my heart, I believe that we’ve peaked as a nation,” said Jim Phillips, the president of the Arkansas Dentists Association. He had gathered a handful of fellow dentists together at the Riverpointe Country Club, in a neighborhood of some of the biggest McMansions ever built by man. …

Road Trip Day 12: Sanity in Arkansas

Conway, Arkansas

“You are sitting in a room with visionaries,” Mike Coats, the proprietor of Mike’s Place, told me. The visionaries looked pretty average old-fashioned American to me–a small city mayor, a small city Chamber …

Road Trip Day 10: A Place Called Hope

Hope, Arkansas

Well, I’ve known the guy for about 25 years and I couldn’t just let his birthplace pass me by. The house where Bill Clinton first lived is on the main road into town and it’s been restored beautifully. It isn’t …

Road Trip Day 9: Time Warp

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Yes, it’s really important for me to out here listening to non-Beltway people. I truly enjoy doing it and I learn a lot. But this is one week when I’d just as soon be back East, with all that’s going on.

Road Trip Souvenirs

Greetings, Swampfolk. This is your resident road trip impresaria. As last year, we have made up some bumper stickers (and regular stickers) to commemorate Joe’s journey across the States. (We also have some vintage swag from last …

Road Trip Day 7: My Life is a Country Music Song

Austin, Texas

And here’s the first verse:

I murdered my iphone in a margarita last night

We’d just seen Arcade Fire and I was feelin’ all right

My wife set her traveler where the cup holder had been

Michele Bachmann

Road Trip Day 5: Starting Up

Austin, Texas

Chuck Gordon couldn’t find anyplace to store his stuff. He was a UCLA art major, about to spend junior year abroad in Singapore. He checked out the regular storage places in LA and it was going to cost something …

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